A litter of 11 young puppies has been found soaking wet and cold on a pathway after being dumped in Porirua.
The four-week-old pups was found at 2am today, crawling along a patch of grass along a pathway connecting Champion St and Somerset Pl in Cannons Creek, Porirua, the SPCA said.
A member of the public came across them, after hearing their cries.
They took them in for the night, and contacted the SPCA this morning.
Temperatures at night were dropping to as low as 4-5C, Wellington SPCA animal welfare inspector Gina Kemp, said.
"It is extremely fortunate that the puppies were found when they were. Had they remained undiscovered, cold, wet and hungry until morning then the outcome could have been very different", she said.
The puppies were brought into Wellington SPCA's Newtown Centre, where they were assessed by the veterinary team, treated, and fed and kept warm.
The pups were in surprisingly good health despite their ordeal, Ms Kemp said, but will be very confused and missing their mum.
"It is not only heart-breaking to see these puppies deserted, I am also concerned for the mother of these puppies, who will no doubt be missing her large family. A litter that large would have certainly taken a toll on her, and so I urge anyone with any information to come forward so we can help get her and her puppies the help they need."
Wellington SPCA has been working with the local community to reduce rates of unwanted animals through desexing campaigns .
"Sadly this is not an isolated case, and despite our best efforts we still see lots of puppies and kittens being born to homes that do not, or cannot care for them. This is avoidable and we need owners to take responsibility and understand the importance of desexing their pets", said Ms Kemp.
The puppies are now in the care of Wellington SPCA, which has called for anyone with information on their abandonment to contact them on 0800 INSPECTOR.